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Amendments to Federal Power Act Should Protect Consumers

Feb. 1, 2016


Amendments to Federal Power Act Should Protect Consumers

Public Citizen Testimony Before House Energy Subcommittee

WHAT: Testimony on legislation proposed to amend the Federal Power Act. Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program, will testify at a hearing before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power about two bills related to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Slocum will explain that Public Citizen opposes legislation that would allow mergers under a certain dollar amount to avoid FERC review. Current law allows FERC to review all mergers and consolidations, with no minimum exemption. By creating an exemption, mergers or consolidations that fall below the threshold could go through without government scrutiny and approval, thereby allowing a single owner to control a given market and granting it the ability to unilaterally charge unjust and unreasonable rates to consumers.

Slocum also will tell lawmakers that Public Citizen supports H.R. 2984. This legislation directly relates to an ongoing federal lawsuit brought by Public Citizen against FERC. The bill would require that any FERC decision that impacts rates be treated as an order for purposes of allowing groups like Public Citizen to seek rehearing and court review. Often, the four FERC commissioners split on decisions, and without a majority vote, no action is taken. This legislation would resolve cases such as these that deal with setting just and reasonable rates for consumers.

WHEN: 10 a.m. EST Tuesday, Feb. 2

WHERE: Room 2123, Rayburn House Office Building, First St. SW and Independence Ave. SW, Washington, D.C.

WHO: Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program